Louise Julig

Live storytelling, personal essays, flash creative nonfiction
Photo of a middle-aged woman in front of a microphone in a darkened venue. The photo is taken from a low angle off to the side and close up. The woman has the hair on the left side of her head cropped short and is wearing a button-up collared shirt with a tank top underneath.

About me

woman with short blonde hair standing at a microphone in a room with a darkened background

I am a creative nonfiction writer living in in Southern California on Kumeyaay lands. I write mostly personal essays and flash nonfiction. I also have a weird compunction to read slightly embarrassing true stories in front of a bar full of people at the VAMP storytelling showcase of the San Diego literary and performing arts organization So Say We All.

My newsletter, Be Your Own Hero, about being brave in small moments, comes out approximately monthly. Sign up to get the next issue and I’ll send you a PDF of Five 5-Minute Practices That Will Help You Be More Brave.


Logo of Five Minute Lit: the number 5 in a green circle

Storytelling shows

Craft articles and podcasts

What people are saying…

about Be Your Own Hero

This strengthened hope for me. Thank you Louise!

— Laura T.

Thank you. This is an act of bravery I’m going to start RIGHT NOW–that way I won’t have to apologize to myself for the delay 😉

— Sara DW 

about "But Closing ..." in Five Minute Lit

Wow, this came through to me in waves. Beautiful!

— Julia L.

Relatable, but so uniquely and well told in few words.

— Jennifer G. 

about "How a Sex Book Helped Me Overcome Writers Block" in the Brevity Nonfiction Blog

Your essay is so subtly funny and so good.

— Jessica H.

I loved this piece! Especially the last line.

— Peg C. 

about "Resistance" in Lunch Ticket

Your words on the bonds we have with other women, as well as the pure craft-y beauty of this essay made me feel recharged to go out into the world and work in whatever way I can for the women I love. This piece is a triumph. I will be sharing it with many readers and writers in my life. Thank you, thank you.
 — Joy L.

about "Forgetting the Cat" in FEED

I couldn’t stop thinking about this piece and what you had to say about grief and guilt. The ending was so powerful!

— Naira

about "Wonderland" in Crack the Spine

Congratulations, Louise; like a brief and unanticipated piece of classical music – strings, a horn – then back to reality, nicely done.
— Walter C.

about "March 194th" in the San Diego Decameron Project

Beautiful. I felt every detail, and the mood so resonated. 
— Fran E.

about "Teeth" VAMP performance

You gave one of the best VAMPs in the history of VAMP with that piece about visiting your acquaintance in the hospital who had crap in her teeth. You do self-reflection and awkward moments like no one else!
— VAMP writing mentor Jennifer C.

about "Let's Dance" VAMP Performance

Really, what a terrific story; so rich and so full of poignancy and yearning and adolescent struggling with identity.
— VAMP writing mentor Eilene Z.

about "Dirty Talk: Pills, Props, and Playthings" VAMP Performance

One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen/heard. Your writing, timing, and delivery were spot on.
— Peggy L.

about "Dirty Talk: Pills, Props, and Playthings" VAMP Performance

I was laughing within the first 30 seconds. OMG, it was so funny, and then, in that Louise Julig special way, drove straight to our collective humanity and brought me to tears. 
— Annette O.

about "Men Tell Me to Smile" VAMP Performance

Oh my god. This was absolutely incredible. I cried laughing. So good.
— Danielle B. 
Oh fuck this is awesome. 
— Jeff M.

about "A Soft Spot for Strays" VAMP Performance

The bark. So fucking perfect. I felt the audience startle in their seats.
— Kelly B. 
Photo of a woman at a microphone in front of a darkened room in a small bar. Behind her is a screen with two photos of large dogs


11/17/22 VAMP Show “The Hunt“— So Say We All at the Whistle Stop Bar, San Diego
6/16/22 Braving the Fire Revisited: A Conversation with Jessica Handler — 7 pm Eastern/4 pm Pacific. Click here for audio and video recording of this event
3/21/22  San Diego Decameron Project Anthology Book Launch and Reading — San Diego Central Library
1/27/22  VAMP Show “The GOAT” — So Say We All at the Whistle Stop Bar, San Diego

Media bio

Louise Julig (she/her) is a writer from Encinitas, California whose creative nonfiction has appeared in Five Minutes, the Brevity blogLunch Ticket, FEED, Crack the Spine, and The San Diego Decameron Project anthology. She has also been a peer mentor and performer for the VAMP storytelling showcase of the San Diego literary and performing arts organization So Say We All. She’s told stories about people with food in their teeth, an epiphany at a summer camp dance, men telling her to smile, and her first field trip to an adult store, among other slightly embarassing true tales. She also writes Be Your Own Hero, a Substack newsletter about being brave in small moments.
Head shot of a woman with cropped blonde hair on one side of her head and wearing glasses.

Unless noted in file title, all photos: Killian Whitelock